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Travis W. Hein, Tsuneaki Omae, Wenjuan Xu, Akitoshi Yoshida, Lih Kuo; Role of Arginase in Selective Impairment of Endothelium-Dependent Nitric Oxide Synthase-Mediated Dilation of Retinal Arterioles during Early Diabetes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(5):36. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.5.36.
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Retinal vasomotor activity can be regulated by two major endothelial enzymes, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX). The vascular arginase also consumes a NOS substrate and thus impedes NOS-mediated vasodilation. Diabetes mellitus exhibits vascular complications in the retina with elevated oxidative stress and compromised NOS-mediated vasodilation. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear, and the effect of diabetes on COX-mediated vasodilation is unknown. Herein, we examined the relative impact of diabetes on retinal arteriolar dilations to COX and NOS activation and the roles of arginase and superoxide in diabetes-induced vasomotor dysfunction.
Retinal arterioles were isolated from streptozocin-induced diabetic pigs (2 weeks of hyperglycemia, 433 ± 27 mg/dL) or age-matched control pigs (97 ± 4 mg/dL). The vasodilations to bradykinin (NOS activator) and histamine (NOS/COX activator) were examined in vitro.
Retinal arteriolar dilations to histamine and bradykinin were significantly reduced after 2 weeks of diabetes. The NOS inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) attenuated the dilations of control vessels, but not diabetic vessels, to histamine. In the presence of L-NAME and COX inhibitor indomethacin, histamine-induced dilations of control and diabetic vessels were reduced similarly. Treatment of diabetic vessels with arginase inhibitor nor-NOHA, but not superoxide dismutase mimetic TEMPOL, preserved both histamine- and bradykinin-induced dilations in an L-NAME-sensitive manner.
Arginase, rather than superoxide, impairs endothelium-dependent NOS-mediated dilation of retinal arterioles during diabetes, whereas vasodilation mediated by COX remains intact. Blockade of vascular arginase may improve endothelial function of retinal arterioles during early onset of diabetes.
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